FROM STAGE TO TV TO SITCOM, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ENJOYING YOUR MOVE BACK TO NIGERIA?
My mantra has been “keep an open mind and don’t take things (including myself) too seriously”. To survive here, you have to be able to roll with the punches and take things as they come without feeling entitled. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that I have been given and grateful for the hard work that has begun to pay off.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER IN DOWRY.
I play the character of Lola in Dowry. She is the groom’s younger sister, a free spirit who marches to the beat of her own drummer.
IS THIS A ROLE YOU HAVE PLAYED BEFORE OR IS TOTALLY NEW FOR YOU?
Certain elements are new, and certain elements are familiar.
WHICH DO YOU PREFER – THE STAGE OR THE CAMERA AND WHY?
They are very different, but I would have to say I’m a stage girl at heart. There is something about performing live and feeding off of an audience’s energy that takes me to a different place. On stage, everything happens in that moment and once it’s gone, it’s gone. On stage, I’m bigger than my body, bigger than my voice, bigger than my limitations, bigger than myself – it’s magical.
DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST AUDITION.
My first audition was disastrous! I had just started university and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study so I went to try out for the Musical Theatre program at my school. I had never auditioned before so I thought I could just show up and razzle dazzle them with my awesomeness. When I got there, it was clear I wasn’t prepared, and my nerves got the best of me. It was bad, it was very bad.
WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING AS AN ACTRESS AND TV PERSONALITY?
They say “there’s no business like show business” and I totally believe that. The entertainment industry doesn’t typically function the way other traditional industries do. While it can be very rewarding, it can also be very unpredictable. I do what I do because I am talented and I enjoy it.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO JOIN THE INDUSTRY?
Network a lot. That goes for any industry, not just entertainment. Do your research and find out who the key players are. Try to get to know the people who are doing something similar to what you would like to be doing. Some of them may even become mentors. Above all, be professional and leave a good impression.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR ROLE MODELS?
I’m inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie and Asa because they live according to their own rules. They’re young and fearless and are products of my generation. They use their creative talents to make a difference in their own way.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LINE FROM A MOVIE?
I’m obsessed with Mean Girls and I love when Damian says: “That’s why her hair is so big, it’s full of secrets.”
BEYOND ACTING, WHAT OTHER AREA OF FILMMAKING ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?
I have done a little bit of directing and would love to do that again someday.
IF YOU WERE NOT ACTING/PRESENTING, WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING?
I’d probably be teaching.
WHAT WAS THE LAST NOLLYWOOD MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Maami by Tunde Kelani.
IN ONE WORD, YOU ARE?
INTERVIEW: Isabella Akinseye